PIP-37: Credentializing Reputation within the Existing DAO System [CREDS]

I appreciate your feedback @steve and although I don’t share the same sentiment I respect your opinion. The current system excludes different groups in the community such as annons and stakers. Moreover if we compare the old and new system 80% of the vote is still one person, one vote and the remaining 20% relays on a simple SQRT reduction formula and POKT staked. Same as previous, more votes wins the proposal whether it is coming from impact house or stake house. Lastly, the referred analysis is to improve the system not to evaluate it as implications has been evaluated using the shared file.


I also appreciate your feedback, @creepto. Voting on something as impactful and complex as this PIP should include healthy debate.

For accuracy, the current system does not exclude any group. Anyone who wants a vote today can get one if they are willing to complete the required steps. If we feel the steps are inappropriate for some groups, the current system and constitution allow us to add new voting paths that would better align for more groups. This has been done in the past and does not require an overhaul of the existing system.

On anonymous voting

I genuinely appreciate your willingness to defend your viewpoint. Your transparency lets me know you’ve considered this topic deeply. It lets me and the community know that your vote should count regardless of which side of the debate you’re on. Part of my concern with this proposal is that this kind of transparency will be lost because of the introduction of anonymous voting. The impact of anonymous voting is another unknown that this proposal introduces. The decision to allow anonymous voting could have been the topic of a proposal by itself.

As I’ve mentioned in previous comments, regulating how much someone’s vote or contribution is worth is highly subjective and complex. For example, how was the decision made that staking is worth 20%? That’s a rhetorical question, so there’s no need to answer. It’s just an example to illustrate the same point I’ve been making: the complexity of this proposal makes it impossible to know or even evaluate its impact should it pass.


Hi @steve

Jumping in here, as I think there are a few points that need clearing up.

The current system does exclude different stakeholders. There is no point talking about theory if it is never turned into practice. The current system excludes non-represented groups such as gateways, and makes it very difficult, if not close to impossible for many other valuable contributors to have a say in POKT’s governance

As well as many more valuable contributors since that post from Jack last summer such as Raid Guild, @creepto and many more

The current system doesn’t allow an easy way to manage updates, as it’s all incredibly manual. This is demonstrated by how few changes have been made in the last couple of years, how few new voters have joined the DAO, and how much overhead it places on Jack to keep it running.

I personally don’t understand how the status quo is viewed as desirable.

Surely, it’s better to have a new scalable system built on a fully verifiable digital rails, as opposed to a manual off-chain process that cannot be verified, as per the current system? The newly proposed Creds system is, by definition and design, much more transparent than the current system, as every credential issued is verifiable.

And the best thing about the new system is that it is modular and can be easily upgraded over time, something that history has shown is not true with the current system.

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I appreciate you jumping in @Dermot.

This has been put into practice - it’s how everyone who currently has a vote got one.

I’m not advocating for keeping the status quo—I’m just advocating against an overly complex system. I agree that everyone who contributes should get a vote. If the current voter paths aren’t appropriate, new paths/quests could be created as they have been before.

This I agree with 100%. The system should be more automated and it should not all fall on @JackALaing. This can also be accomplished without such dramatic changes to the overall voting process.

When you refer to the “new system,” are you referring to the tech stack, the constitution changes, the addition of anonymous voters, and the voting weights? Again, the complexity of this proposal makes it confusing to know exactly.

So to be really clear, is your main issue with giving a portion of the overall vote to “stakers” and moving away from a purely 1p1v system?

I personally think that we should be formally representing all key stakeholders with a vote, and that 20% represents a material but safe proportion of the vote to start with, and learn from.

I mean the tech stack.

  • The constitution changes are administrative matters of formality.

  • Anon voting is how every other DAO works. But Gitcoin passport allows anon voting with proof of personhood, so we can enable 1 person 1 vote, so we get privacy while protecting against sybil attacks. The current system of posting selfies in discord isn’t desirable from a privacy or scale perspective, and is much easier to fake now with the rise of AI image generators.

  • The voting weights is something that has been discussed on multiple community calls and across the forum in multiple threads. I shared my view above, and I haven’t heard you directly opine on this either, so I wasn’t aware it was an issue but I’m happy to discuss if you would like to.


Yes. Moving away from 1p1v is a primary concern of mine.

What is “material but safe” is subjective. Also, this feels like a move to give entities a vote—as opposed to people. Gateways are not people, and the people running gateways shouldn’t have more than one vote.

I have not been able to make the calls. I have other responsibilities that conflict, so I’m trying to use this forum to express my viewpoints and understand others. I’m not getting paid to push any agenda here, and I’m not pushing back to create extra work for anyone—especially not myself. I’m just voicing things as I see them. Also, this is a discussion that should be with the community vs. one-on-one (although I appreciate the offer).

I suspect this PIP will likely pass because few people have the time required to invest in it. Ironically, with every post, I’m asking myself why I’m spending the time. But that question reminds me that the more complex something is, the less likely it is that people will spend the time to understand it - let alone voice and defend their opinion.

What I would vote for

I would vote to turn decision-making over to elected people in the community, provided there were term limits. Or a simple 1p1v system that is available to everyone who contributed in any way. But, that will likely result in more uninformed votes. So, if we move int that direction, the voting outcomes will always favor the people with the most time to spend doing this. Or the ones who control the narrative (docs, website, etc).


First of all, huge thanks to everyone that has contributed to this proposal itself and the discussion here. I think this is all good-faith conversation from all parties about coming up with sustainable systems for problems we currently have. That being said…

Why I voted against PIP-37

I agree with most of steve’s points (I feel very strongly about 1P1V), but the one that resonates most with me is the complexity and atomic-ness(?) of the changes as a whole. “Smoothing out the current manual verification process”, “Getting more voter engagement”, and specifically “getting more currently-involved voter engagement” (the irony is not lost on me) are all noble goals, but I think that this proposal is simply moving too many parts too quickly, and because it alters the governance rules themselves, should not be taken lightly.

In my opinion, this should be broken into smaller self-contained PIPs that can be discussed and voted on by their own merit, rather than as this sort of ‘all-or-nothing’ approach. I also think that there are inherent risks to coupling governance with a specific third party identity solution. Obviously the intent of the rule will need to be implemented somehow, but enshrining a product and vendor in governance without the appropriate escape hatches built-in from the start can lead to a serious crisis if there is a technical or process issue in the future.


Thank you, @aos_bs, for jumping in. I’d like to briefly address one of your concerns. As mentioned by @Dermot, the new system is modular, which means we can swap out any of the components and third-party services at any given time. For example, if the community ever decides to move away from GitCoin Passport for identity checks, we can use any of the other available plugins provided by Snapshot or develop our own custom solution.

It is still only individuals that get a vote. Even in the staker house all voting power is tied to an individual that controls such gateway / nodes / liquidity provider stake.

It’s really appreciated. Please take my pushback as a healthy part of this open discourse.

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Thanks again @Dermot, and I also appreciate your pushback and viewpoints on this. I agree this is healthy and is an example of our existing system working :wink:

This is an example of the complexity I can’t seem to grasp. Why would someone want a vote worth less than all the other votes? Expicially someone running a gateway / nodes / liquidity pool?

The creds system gives voting power to individuals who provide impact to the POKT ecosystem. That power that can be earned as a builder or staker

Only one person can represent a gateway’s voting power, and similarly only one person can represent the voting power attributable to a staked node / LP stake or GitHub PR, or any other approved form of impact.

Can you please explain more about what you mean by having a vote less than other votes? I don’t understand the point you’re making so clearly I am missing something

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Please join us for a round table community discussion on this proposal at the ecosystem call on 4/24/24:

We’ll be facilitating a final discussion on CREDS in real time to answer any outstanding questions about the proposal.


Hey all, it’s a bit unfortunate the final vote went up when I had a pre-planned vacation. I hope you’ll forgive me for tuning back in at this late stage and sharing a few thoughts before the vote concludes.

First, apologies again that our approach to this proposal and the way it has been laid out over time has been unhelpful. In hindsight we could have had people vote on each of the specifications individually as we went along. It seems the burning countdown of a vote has inspired people to dig in to the key topics and that is good food-for-thought regardless of what happens next.

And for those that have, thank you for calling out your objections publicly here in the forum and engaging in the debate. Having fewer contentious debates than we did in the past is great, but the lack of healthy conflict has actually been a problem in the DAO imo so it’s good to see it returning. If you have voted against, or plan to, please share your reasoning here publicly so we can understand what the objections are and ultimately align on how to make necessary improvements to the current system.

That last part is important, because the challenges outlined in the forum post from last August will still be there unless people vote for this. The original governance system envisioned trophies to be verified credentials, the thing we seek to automate here. A discord selfie as proof of humanity is elegant and simple, until you realise it excludes heart and soul contributors like PoktNews who are exercising a right a privacy that I think most people here believe in (which Gitcoin Passport solves). We are removing paths that reflected a historical set of personas in POKT, and updating so everyone has the same ability to earn governance no matter what hat or persona fits them best in future. And we are keeping our core 1P1V system but starting small experiments with the use of Stake in governance. In sum I know this can feel like a big change, particularly when it’s something as critical as the rules we all play by. But my ask is for you to consider whether in isolation any one of those changes is much more than a simple evolution on what we already have today.

Sorry it’s been a less than perfect process to this point… I hope it doesn’t deter you from voting Approve and helping us take a big step forward now. But whether it’s now (please!) or later I’m sure we’ll soon have a tech enabled governance system that is as big a flex as the protocol :muscle:


A couple of people asked my opinion, and so I am just copypasting into here for posterity’s sake. As of now, I will vote yes.

  • I caution us of misattributing the existing system for lack of new voter accreditation. If this were the case, then we could drastically change the quest system. Lack of participation or new voters doesn’t have to be an indictment of the system, but just be reality. It turns out that the baseline for decentralized governance of a highly specialized and quick moving protocol may be low.
  • I agree w/ a lot of @steve 's point and this proposal does add a concerning amount of complexity. I think we should pay heed to his characterization that this system does add an non-trivial amount of arbitrary weighting and I do salute him sticking up for 1P1V.
  • I am having trouble groking why a bicameral system is a required for success; seems more like a compromise to me. I worry about how prospective members may view this architecture when trying to figure out how/when their vote counts.
  • The existing system was build for different needs. It is inevitable that we change this system and I have trusted the governance specialty of @JackALaing and @b3n even if I don’t always understand/agree with it.

This discourse is filled with good material and I am glad there have been several addendums to the original proposal. That being said, I see value in moving forward and I find the proposal compelling enough to vote yes.


I forgot to follow up on this. Thanks for the clarification @JackALaing, that was my largest objection to the proposal. I still have a few concerns that make me a “no” until they are addressed:

  1. Lack of tracks for non-technical builders - while I understand that there are ways to earn your vote as a non-technical person, the plans to include those personas aren’t included in this sweeping proposal.
  2. Time-based enfranchisement - I don’t believe current or future voters should lose their vote once they receive one or the timelines between involvement should have to be so long that those individuals couldn’t possibly be relevant anymore. I don’t see a reasonable argument that someone like @steve couldn’t contribute as a valuable governor despite not seeking to create PIPs and other proposals. I view governors as a persona in their own right and those people should be empowered to weigh in on key issues without needing to push forward new legislation for the sake of new legislation.

I would have preferred a modular approach to the governance update, but we’re here now and I don’t want to get in the way of the governance overhaul. I could swing to a “yes” if these issues are addressed.


Hey @adam - to address the lack of non-technical builders, i think you’ll find that quick grants and bounties are a great opportunity for non-technical contributors to be involved. If you check the Quick Grants section of the forum you can see the currently open ones, which range from dev-rel like activites (which I agree are technical) to copy editing, analytics, local community hubs and POKT docs (which are not). There are lots of opportunities to contribute, and we’re scoping out a POKT builder ideas page - similar to Optimism, surfacing more opportunities to work on POKT for both technical and non-technical contributors.

A Carve Out for Governors
I agree. These are great ways to be involved and be compensated for work and earn a vote. I’m not sure it would apply to people like me who want to be engaged but don’t necessarily want to go through the process of monetizing work on Pocket (although maybe it makes sense to do so). Given the broad scope of the proposal which lacks this important track, and the fact that we’re going to have some fatigue on the governance topic itself, I’m not comfortable kicking the can on such an important issue.

On a similar note, I think the lack of tracks for us non-technical folks is going to lead to proposal or authorship bloat where voters will create proposals just to get them passed or simply just co-author their voting block with proposals to keep their vote active. The latter will lead to debates about who truly wrote this proposal which is a waste of time.

Quick Grants / Voter Segmentation
Regarding the Quick grants: how much knowledge does a socket/quick grant winner have about the protocol? My gut says it very much depends on the grant itself. If I’m the person doing the website maintenance, I might not know about the economics of the protocol or the technical aspects.

To this point: I haven’t thought through the idea entirely (and it’s probably going to be controversial), but I’d like to see a future where there are voting tracks where eligible voters can delegate votes to individuals who are experts in those tracks (possibly up to some sort of limited threshold of voting power to avoid over-concentration of power). At present, your only option is to abstain from a vote if you don’t know the topic or just follow whoever is arguing the way that makes sense to you on the forum.


Thanks for jumping in here @RichCL.

Pushing back on this proposal has been challenging for me because of precisely what you said above. I also trust and respect the experience that @JackALaing, @b3n, @doctorrobinson, @Dermot, and the rest of the PNF team bring. But what if they were to move on? Would you still vote for this proposal? That’s the question I’ve been asking myself.

Here is an example of the complexity this system adds and why I’m sure your statement above will be true if this proposal passes.

Let’s say we have 100 voters. 51 voted in favor of a proposal, and 49 voted against it. Does the proposal pass?

Under our current system. The simple answer - yes.

Under the new proposed system - who knows? I can’t answer this simple question.

Perhaps someone who is voting for this proposal can answer that question for any undecided voters.


They designed a system that will last after they are gone. If voters want to change the system or amend the constitution at a later date, that won’t be on the architects.

I agree that we are dulling Occam’s Razor w/ this design. However, once we concede to a bicameral system, then I am fine relaxing our assumptions on needing 1P1V.

Furthermore, this seems to reflect the reality that not everyone’s voice should count the same. This is not crazy given the fact that Pocket’s ecosystem represents a technical protocol where different skills sets deliver varying levels of impact. While debatable, I personally find it to be an inconvenient truth.

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I voted no - for now.

Not because I’m happy with the status quo. On the contrary. Like most everyone else, I support improvements like making the voter base more inclusive & our voting system scalable.

However, since this vote went live on April 18 and just prior to that, Steve, Adam and aos_bs have raised great questions that in my respectful view require further debate.

Pushing this through now (just one day is left for voting), leaves insufficient time to properly consider these questions. And more importantly, it’s too late to make any changes that they may justify.

No downside to a NO vote

There is no downside to applying the brakes (a “no” vote) - only upside - as it will allow time for obviously needed further discussion and for possible amendments. A new vote can be held right after.

The additional time that a “no” vote will buy also will enable us to ensure that more voters know and understand the changes being proposed. This can be achieved, among other things, by a rewrite of this proposal that clearly sets out the issues including those identified at the eleventh hour.

As I write this, the vote is tied at 7-7. Given the importance of changes to our voting system, do we want this proposal to squeak through? With further time for review and debate that engages more voters and allows for possible amendments that allay concerns, a proposal on changes to our voting system is much more likely to find the wide support it ought to have.